To toast the finale of my book series, I wanted to craft a delicious beverage that tied in with the books and was a little out of the ordinary.
Enter the color-changing magic of butterfly pea flower tea!
Though I’d heard of this drink through the interwebs, I hadn’t ever tried it myself. So I ordered some dried butterfly pea flowers, and once they arrived I infused them in hot water inside a big Mason jar. The deep blue infusion was gorgeous enough as it was – but I watched in glee as I squeezed in a lemon and the tea changed colors right before my very eyes!
The tea doesn’t have much flavor on its own, so in keeping with the floral theme I added some rose syrup. Rose/lemon is one of my favorite flavor combos, and the vibrant colors of this mocktail make it an extra-special celebratory brew. Bonus: the purple color makes the perfect homage to the mushroom on the cover of What We Bury.
For the Rose Syrup (makes about 1 cup)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp rose extract (or 2 TB rosewater)
For Each Mocktail
- 1 tsp dried butterfly pea flowers
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 wedge fresh lemon
Make the Rose Syrup
- Boil the water in a small saucepan and add the sugar, stirring until it dissolves.
- Remove from heat and add the rose extract or rosewater. If using extract, you may want to start with only a few drops at first, as it can be quite strong, and adjust the amount to your taste.
- Chill the syrup in the fridge until ready to use.
Make the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
- Steep 1 teaspoon of butterfly pea flowers in 1 cup of hot water for about 5 minutes.
- Strain out the flowers and place the tea in a glass cup. Be careful – the deep blue liquid stains easily!
- Chill in the fridge if you won't be using the infusion right away. If you want your mocktail now, add some ice to cool it down.
Make the Drink(s)
- Stir 1-2 teaspoons of rose syrup into your tea infusion.
- Squeeze in the juice from the fresh lemon wedge, and watch the magic happen. The blue infusion will turn a lovely purple shade right before your eyes!
- Add more lemon or rose syrup to taste.
- Infuse the simple syrup with culinary lavender instead of rose extract
- Try the rosemary-bay syrup from my pomegranate mocktail recipe
- For purple lemonade, add more lemon and use plain simple syrup or other sweetener of your choice – or just go without for a tart, refreshing lemony drink!